Angelina Jolie

Mike Marsland/

Angelina Jolie may not have birthed any more babies yet, but Entertainment Tonight is the not-so-proud parent of a newborn controversy.

While not exactly issuing a retraction, the stalwart celebrity-news show released a statement Wednesday saying its ultimately faulty story about Jolie's twins being born was the result of a hoax perpetrated by someone who has been impersonating Jolie's longtime assistant via email.

"Entertainment Tonight takes this very seriously and is, of course, concerned that the show may have been victimized by someone allegedly posing as a member of Ms. Jolie's team," the statement said. "We are actively investigating the matter and are reaching out to law enforcement agencies."

A rep for the show also said they did not know about the existence of an imposter until Monday, when Jolie's attorneys circulated a letter to media outlets warning them of the ersatz employee.

But sources have told the Associated Press (which ran with ET's "scoop") that ET was told after its online story went up—but before airtime Friday—that the information was no good.

According to an ET executive, a producer on the show obtained the impostor's BlackBerry email from a contact at CNN. When the faux assistant was asked via email whether rumors that Jolie had given birth were true, he/she replied in the affirmative. ran with the Jolie story early Friday, attributing the info to an anonymous source who claimed to have been in the delivery room when the births took place.

But as reps for the couple, including Jolie and Brad Pitt's respective managers, started issuing one official denial after another and various other media outlets, including E! Online, began confirming that the buns were still safely in Jolie's oven, the story disappeared from ET's website.

But it was too late to remove from Friday's episode of ET, during which anchor Mary Hart said on air: "Just this morning, a source who says she was inside the delivery room tells us, 'Yes, the babies were born and, yes, mother and babies are fine.' "

According to the AP's sources, meanwhile, Holly Goline, Jolie's actual longtime assistant, informed the ET producer that she was not the person on the other end of that bogus email address before Friday's broadcast.

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